Being a parent is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. While it may be difficult at times, the joy you feel watching your child flourish into an amazing young person is more than worth the stress. That being said, there is one reward that parenting doesn’t provide – A financial one.
We all know that children can be expensive, but parents often don’t realize the full extent of the costs. This can make running a household on a budget an incredibly daunting task. However, as challenging as it may be, it is far from impossible. Here are ten ways you can save money.
1. Don’t Fear Second-Hand
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to give your child the best, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should have to shell out on brand-new and costly products. Children grow up and out of things incredibly quickly, leaving many of the clothes, shoes, and toys you’ve bought them almost untouched. To avoid unnecessary spending, you should start buying these items second-hand instead. Your child won’t see the difference, but your bank balance will be grateful for it.
2. Stick To Reusable Items
Disposable products, like diapers and paper towels, may appear cheap and convenient at first, but they actually cost you a lot of money over time. After all, you have to keep replacing them every time you use them. Towels, cloths, and cloth diapers, on the other hand, if taken care of properly, can be used again and again, reducing your carbon footprint and cutting costs. It may take more effort to clean such items, but, once you get into the habit of it, you won’t even notice.
3. Prepare Your Own Meals
Meals out and takeaways are certainly tasty, but they cost much more than it would to prepare food yourself. They can also be incredibly unhealthy, which leads to sickness and costly medical bills. To avoid all of this, you should aim to prepare most of your meals yourself instead. If you have a baby in the house, breastfeeding and making your own baby food will cut costs even further. To save time, prepare your meals at the weekend so that you only have to heat them up.
4. Shop With A List
Heading to a store without any idea of what you need to buy is never a good idea. More often than not, you’ll pick up a lot of products you don’t actually require, hiking up your total spend. To prevent this, you should ensure you only ever going shopping when you have a list of things you need to buy. Then, when you get to the store, just pick up the items you’ve written down. Meal planning and purchasing all of your groceries at once can reduce how much you spend on transport.
5. Compare Your Prices Online
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to find a good deal. With that in mind, you should ensure you do some research online before you buy anything. These days, you can compare costs and deals of a range of different products, from beauty accessories to auto insurance. You can also find coupons and vouchers, which you can use to get money off. By putting in this little bit extra effort, you can make major savings, massively cutting down your household expenses.
6. Learn To Go Without
We are always telling our children that they can’t have everything they want whenever they want it. You may be the parent here, but you should ensure that you live by the same principles, by cutting a few non-essential costs from your budget. These might include the coffees you buy on the way to work or the manicure you have every few weeks. You should still be allowed to treat yourself of course, but there are better and cheaper ways to do this.
7. Invest In Home Entertainment
Family time is incredibly important, but nowhere in the parenting rulebook does it say you need to pay through the nose for these quality experiences. As fun as it may be to go to the movies or bowling alley together, your time can be just as enjoyable if you spend it at home. All you need to do is invest in the right entertainment. From movie nights to game nights, there are plenty of home activities you can choose from that are a whole lot cheaper than going out.
8. Find Child Care Alternatives
As great as your kids may be, you are going to need some time away from them now and then, especially to spend with your partner. The only issue with this is that childcare can be quite expensive. Thankfully, you do have a few alternatives to consider. For example, you could ask friends and family members if any of them are willing to help out. You could also speak to other moms and see if one wants to swap babysitting now and then, so you can both have a break.
9. Know When To DIY
When something breaks at home, your first instinct is probably to call in a professional. After all, they have the skills and knowledge to get the job done well. Unfortunately, because of this, they often charge quite a lot. For this reason, you should aim to become a little more independent and learn how to do a range of things around the house yourself, from repairing clothes to fixing light fittings. Just be sure that you actually know what you’re doing, or you could cost yourself more.
10. Wash The Right Way
When you have children running around, you become used to cleaning clothes on a constant basis. However, depending on how you choose to clean these clothes, you could be pouring money down the drain. To be energy efficient and frugal, you should ensure you only wash full loads of laundry. This means you’ll waste less water and electricity in the long run. You should also turn your machine down to a cooler setting and hang your clothes out to dry outside.
Being a parent will never be cheap, but, hopefully, with the frugal tips above, you can cut costs and save some money.